There is no doubt that it’s been a slow start to the season for Hamilton, suffering a heavy defeat at Celtic before two bitterly disappointing 1-0 home defeats against likely relegation rivals Ross County and St Mirren.
They’ve failed to score a goal, with Christopher Jullien’s own goal on the opening day being the only time that Accies have hit the target this term, therefore, I believe summer signing Tunde Owolabi deserves his chance sometime soon, maybe even in the all-important Lanarkshire Derby on tomorrow afternoon.
The Nigerian born forward was brought in from Northern Premier League side FC United of Manchester for an undisclosed fee after he notched a remarkable 37 goals in all competitions last term.
Accies impressively fought off some competition from the English Football League, with Mansfield Town, Bradford City and Grimsby Town all fighting for the 25-year-old’s services.
I had the privilege of speaking to Neil Reynolds, who brought the best out of Tunde last term and the Red Rebels gaffer believes Tunde will excel with the step up to full-time football and with that he will be a success at Hamilton if given the chance.
The story behind it all is quite remarkable.
Last summer Tunde moved to Malta to try full-time football but returned back to the UK after only a short time away. Luckily for Reynolds, his mate was about to fly out on holiday for a couple of days and spotted Owolabi walking through the arrivals lounge at Manchester Airport. Within minutes, he was on the phone to Tunde asking him to join The Reds and the rest is history.
Speaking about Owolabi and what he can bring to Hamilton, Reynolds Said:
“Tunde has so much pace, power and obviously has an eye for goal. He is remarkably quick and if you get him on the shoulder, you’re not catching him and very rarely did he miss last season. If he gets his chance, he won’t let you down, however he does have some work to do to become an established number nine.
“Like every player, Tunde has areas to improve on. I’m not being critical but when you play against better players, I feel like his awareness, bringing people into the game and his first touch need to improve because in the lower leagues you may get away with three or four touches.
“One thing that Tunde is, is a goal scorer and there is no doubting that. I’m really surprised that more English clubs didn’t come calling for Tunde, I’m not sure if they’ve seen the negative signs of his game. I believe he will excel at Hamilton if given the chance.
“He isn’t the tallest, and even if he doesn’t win his header, he will certainly put his marker off and not make it easy for them. He is a hard-working lad and has a great attitude. You can kick him up and down the park and it doesn’t faze him at all.
“We had scouts watching Tunde all the time, but maybe they were looking for a little more. There was a little talk with Mansfield and Bradford but nothing concrete which was a surprise.
“I think there was a bit of confusion around his contract and it wasn’t really until Hamilton explored it and we managed to come to a deal. It’s probably a bit of naivety from other clubs not doing their homework but well done to Hamilton for doing it and getting the signature from what I believe is one of the best strikers in non-league.”
“He’s quite a quiet lad is Tunde, but very respected and I don’t think you’ll meet a better professional than Tunde and he’s the first and last out of training. He actually went eight games without a goal last season and that’s when he needs an arm around him and needs to be told you still believe in him.
“There are a lot of players who’re happy to work full-time and play part-time as they earn some ridiculous amounts of money, but Tunde is the complete opposite as his dream was to always be a professional footballer and all of us here at FC United of Manchester are delighted for him and wish him nothing but success.”
The striker has only seen six minutes of first-team football this season, but did play in a reserve game against Motherwell last week, scoring an impressive goal in a 6-1 win and will be hoping to get his chance sooner rather than later and hopefully help turn Hamilton’s fortunes around.